FIFO parents overcoming family struggles
Parenting is a challenge for FIFO families, particularly for partners at home to manage the continual transitioning from co-parenting to solo-parenting. Providing for the physical, emotional and intellectual needs of children can be difficult without the support of a partner at home. Partners at home face difficulties including feeling lonely, problems finding flexible employment and childcare and coping with the physical and emotional work of managing children and a household without a partner at home.
One of the potential impacts on children is a lack of daily interaction with the FIFO parent. However, the flip side is that the FIFO parent is then home for extended periods and available to spend quality time with children
Tips for FIFO families (Partners at home)
FIFO lifestyle puts various pressures and stresses on each parent. It is essential for the couple to talk about what they each need during the FIFO cycle which can feel squeezed into chunks of time
Formulate a “re-introduction plan” whereby each family member prepares for the FIFO parent coming home, such as keeping the FIFO worker is up to date with matters at home, getting a good night’s sleep before you return home and having relaxed time to reconnect with each other
Tips for parents to make their children feel comfortable
- Keep the children’s daily/weekly routine the same. Consistency about what is allowed and what is not will help the parents feel like a team and ensure the children feel settled.
- The FIFO partner is advised to respect what the parent at home does, and not override the decisions already made even when you disagree.
- Balancing the time at home between self, children, partner, friends and chores can feel overwhelming for the FIFO partner. Be realistic about what you can do during your time at home.
- Don’t try to be “Santa parent” Your gift to them is time and attention.